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‘Piso para kay Leni’ launched for costs in election protest

Supporters vow to help VP pay for legal costs of defending poll win at SC
By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 09:52 PM August 04, 2016
NEW VICE PRESIDENT / MAY 30, 2016 Presumptive Vice President elect Leni Robredo attends a thanksgiving mass at the St Peter's Basilica in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Monday, May 30, 2016. Also in photo Atty. Romeo Macalintal.  INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Vice President Leni Robredo and her lawyer during the canvassing of votes, Romulo Macalintal.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA — Former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda began, on Wednesday, a fundraising campaign to help Vice President Leni Robredo shoulder the legal fees involved in the election protest filed against her by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

Lacierda called on the 14.4 million Filipinos who voted for the Vice President to come together anew to help her, after Robredo admitted that the legal fees have been worrying her more than the merits of the case filed by Marcos as she believed the latter’s accusation was “baseless.”

Lacierda started the #PisoParaKayLeni in the early morning and has since been shared 1,115 times.

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“Our job to help her is not over. So many of us voted for her to be our Vice President. She has come to a crossroad early in her Vice Presidency. She needs our help to pay for her legal defense,” Lacierda wrote.

He suggested “donating a minimum of 1 peso (P1.00) from each one of us who voted for her to ensure that she has the fighting chance to defend not only herself but also all of us who voted for her.”

“Even if the legal services were provided for free, there will still be costs for the preparation of documents and evidences,” Lacierda, also a lawyer said.

Robredo’s spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, said in a statement the “Vice President is truly grateful for this expression of concern.”

“Nonetheless, we would not want to impose on the people. We continue to have faith that in the end, the good would prevail,” Hernandez said.

The comments on Lacierda’s Facebook posts were varied, from those who were eager to help to those who accused Robredo of lying about being unable to pay for the legal fees.

Lacierda told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he has received several messages, many of whom offering to help Robredo. One wanted to donate P3,000, he said.

On opinions of other lawyers that Robredo could not accept donations being the Vice President, Lacierda believes the campaign does not violate the law.

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“The law presumes that the gift is given in consideration for a favor to be granted in connection to the public official’s duties. First, one peso is a nominal amount. Second, what favors will be granted to the Filipino donors, other than the psychic reward of ensuring there are enough funds to cover the costs of legal defense, assuming legal services services are provided pro bono. Third, what official duties will be compromised in return for that nominal donation of P1. These will be by and large anonymous donations by citizens who believe that VP Leni won the VP race and must be given an adequate measure to cover her legal defense,” Lacierda said.

Hernandez said the Vice President’s legal team “is aware that the VP cannot accept donations and thus, the team is looking into it.” SFM

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TAGS: 2016 elections, Automated elections, Bongbong Marcos, courts, donations, donations to public officials, Edwin Lacierda, Election, election 2016, election cheating, election fraud, Election Protest, Electoral protest, electronic vote count, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Ferdinand Marcos Jr., fundraising, legal defense fund, legal fees, Leni Robredo, litigation, Nation, news, Philippine vice president, Politics, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Supreme Court, trials, Vice President Leni Robredo, vice presidential election, vote counting machines
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